Pop culture themes on slot machines have been regularly attracting players since the rise of video slots in the late 1990s.

There were a few licensed themes before that — Bally’s Betty Boop and IGT’s Wheel of Fortune three-reel games come to mind — but video really opens the door for designers to show off what movies, TV, board games and music themes bring to the slots.

This year will be no different, with a number of pop culture themes on new slots. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned The Voice from IGT. Let’s look at a few more themes to look for in 2018.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Heroine of the hit TV series and slayer of vampires and demons, Buffy Summers comes to casinos on a five-reel video, 1,024 ways to win slot machine from Everi.

It’s an action-packed penny slot, filled with sounds and images from the series. Buffy is chock full of bonus features, including a pick’em bonus, the Primeval Progressive Wheel for jackpots, expanding reels on the base game and two free-spin bonuses, one with a Hellmouth theme — that’s the gateway to the realm of demons that sits under Sunnydale High School — and the other themed on lead characters Buffy and Angel.

When the expanding reels grow and add additional symbols, your chances explode to 32,768 ways to win.

Willie Nelson: Also from Everi, the country legend lends his image and sounds to two $1 reel-spinning games: Willie Nelson Shotgun Willie and Willie Nelson Whiskey River.

Both are nine-line games with three mechanical reels, and they share a wide-area progressive jackpot. Each has its own bonus events, multipliers and plenty of Willie.

Lining up three Shotgun Willie or Whiskey River symbols on the ninth payline awards a wide-area progressive jackpot. Both games feature multipliers, with 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x multipliers on some bar and 7 symbols on Shotgun Willie, while on the other new game, Whiskey River symbols multiply winnings on 7s or bars combinations.

Those who love mechanical reels don’t see as much new product as reel slot players. With this pair of games, Everi is giving them a terrific theme, great sights and sounds and a chance at a progressive jackpot, too.

Wonder Woman Golden Lasso and Bullets & Bracelets: Wonder Woman has been a powerful presence on slot floors ever since Bally Technologies introduced her in two game themes in 2014.

Bally is part of Scientific Technologies now, but the Amazonian princess as portrayed by Lynda Carter in a 1970s TV series returns in two new game themes under license from DC.

Both are five-reel, 40-line games with three-level progressive jackpots along with action-packed game features.

The Power Wheel Bonus awards one spin of the U-Spin wheel. Players can win credit prizes, the minor, major or mega jackpots, Knockout Wilds Free Games or Transforming Wilds Free Games.

In either of the free spin bonuses, get eight spins, and in both the reels expand to eight rows to give you extra winning combinations. During the Knockout Wilds spins, each wild symbol that lands on the reels locks into place for the remainder of the bonus.

Wilds also lock into place in the Transforming Wilds bonus, but there’s a difference. At random times, Diana Prince will appear and transform into Wonder Woman. She then causes the wild symbols to unlock and group together for one spin, increasing the chance for a big win.

The Wonder Woman theme has great nostalgia factor. But the game itself is packed with up-to-date features to make it a blast to play.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

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